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Scotland Yard - Board Game Box Shot

Scotland Yard

| Published: 1983

The mysterious fugitive Mister X is on the run somewhere in London. Can your team of Scotland Yard detectives capture him before time run out? Mister X moves secretly and there is only one clue - his transport tickets. With strategy and teamwork the detectives can trap Mister X but if he escapes, he wins.

Scotland Yard game in play
images © Ravensburger

User Reviews (5)

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I play blue
138 of 146 gamers found this helpful
“Welcome to the "New Scotland Yard"”

Scotland Yard often refers to the London Metropolitan Police and this handy game from Ravensburger.

Components 2.5 Stars

As with many games from anyone, there are many sheets of tickets and playing acessories needed for this game. There are Taxi, Tube and Bus tickets, double movement tickets and hidden movement tickets for Mr. X set up boards for the officers and rings for the bobbies. All these cardboard pieces are brightly color associated and made of a thick durible cardboard. The paper on top is either quite sturdy or Ravensburger has a great punching die as I had none of these pieces rip or tear.

The plastic pieces for the police and Mr. X are made of a durible plastic which are colored on top and translucent on the bottom allowing people to see the number underneith the pieces with out moving them.

Within the kit is a flimsy and uncomfortable cardstock and cloth string visor for Mr. X. Its purpose is to block Mr. X’s eyes from their opponents, so opponents can’t watch Mr. X’s eyes when scanning the board. I would reccomend using a baseball cap or tinted sunglasses.

Mr. X’s movement board includes paper, a carrier and a cover to hold the pieces in place that Mr. X uses. It serves it’s purpose and fits all the pieces well except the 2x move piece. You are responsible for a pen or pencil.

Lastly the box insert for the pieces and tickets doesn’t hold the pieces well. My husband and I agree that we will be adding plastic bags in the box to help.

Easy to Learn 3 Stars

Because Ravensburger is a German game company, all instructions are in German first, then a few other languages and English last. There are a couple places in the instruction books (yes there are two) that show there is a rough translation. The sentances don’t make perfect sense or syntax but a lot can be inferred. Because of this opening the game brand new without someone who has played before, can prove to be a challenge. Once you have a good idea of what you are doing

Replay Value 4 Stars

Initially designed for 3-6 players the 2013 edition from Ravensburger includes a 2 player variant. As a game for two players it can prove to be an exciting game that pushes brain power on both sides of the table.

This game can be easily won by any player who is able to make adaptable plans and think a couple moves ahead of their rival.

The 2013 edition also has a few minor varients to increase the difficuty of game play for all players.

Final Thoughts

While this game has not been put away since it was purchased, It will prove to be a game that will be frequently taken back out. For use with children it is great for critical thinking and mapping skills. Social players may feel a bit isolated if playing only with a few players and power gamers may feel underwhelmed if their fellow players aren’t up to their level to match wits. Beware the Alpha player who wants to take control of others pawns. in the smaller player scenarios, they can have the opportunity to contol more than one officer, but don’t let the control the other players too.

That being said this game is great for people who like to imagine themselves as Sherlock Holmes and out smart their opponents or even the Moriarty who wants to flaunt their opponents ignorance.

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Gamer - Level 5
Smash Up: Pirate Faction Fan
I play purple
146 of 157 gamers found this helpful
“The Game that Started it All!”

There is a special place in my heart for this game. When I was a kid I played it once and loved it. Always stuck in my memory as being an interesting board, because I love maps. Then about 6 years ago I bought the new edition and played it again and it still holds up. I attribute this game to being one of the reasons I am so intrigued, fascinated and the love I hold for games and gaming in general.

Now that I’ve raved about the game on a personal level I’ll mention the mechanics. The game is simple and fun for a large group who doesn’t want to get overly invested or bogged down with cards, or actions. There is one action in the game to move from space to space. The idea of the game is that Mr. X, a notorious London criminal is on the loose and Scotland Yard must find him. One player takes the role of Mr. X and his given a hat so that the person who plays Mr. X may look at the board without people reading eye movements (I like to wear my Starbucks work hat and pretend I’m the evil Howard Shultz, Starbucks CEO by day and Diamond thief by night).

Movement is simple. Each location has varied transportation types depending on the color of the line or around the numbered spot. Each Detective searching for Mr. X is given a finite number of Taxi, Bus and Underground tickets to spend on movement so the player must converse with other players about movement and plan wisely because if your just moving without any thought you will run out of tokens and be stuck on a location. However Mr. X is able to move freely for the most part trying to evade the detectives. His location will only be revealed at specific intervals throughout the game play which will allow the detectives time to mobilize and plan an action of attack to corner and try and capture Mr. X.

However Mr. X is tricky to catch. Detectives must work together and plan as a team or else it will be easier for Mr. X to escape. His movement is unlimited seeing he is given all of the players used tokens, then as bonus has secret movements and double movement tokens and access to waterways that detectives aren’t able to access.

The game is quick and fun. I’ve found that my gaming friends love this game and that my non-gaming friends find it to be slow which I don’t fully understand myself but should be noted. The board and design are one my favorites. Being a fan of maps myself I am biased but the switch from the older game which was a day map to the new night map was an extremely pretty transition that created an awesome board which can easily attract new players to if pulled out at game night.

My last note I will mention that I hate Fury of Dracula and the reason being is because Scotland Yard is so great. I feel that what is missing from Fury of Dracula is that Dracula can go so many turns without showing up and I appreciate that Mr. X has specified periods in which he must show himself. I do love the fighting and cards in Dracula but wish the movement and appearance of Dracula were more similar to that of Mr. X.

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Gamer - Level 7
Explorer - Level 4
Novice Reviewer
126 of 136 gamers found this helpful
“A Fantastic Hidden Gem”

Scotland Yard is a 1 vs many, hide and seek board game. This is a family favorite for me, I grew up playing Scotland Yard. And I like it so much that I bought my own copy when I went off to college.
In this game one individual will take on the role of Mr. X, a mysterious fugitive on the run after committing some horrendous crime, I’m sure. The other players act as detectives on the hunt to bring Mr. X to justice. Everyone is about to embark on an epic chase through London.

How to Play:
In Scotland Yard each player uses tickets to move from stop to stop on the gameboard. This tickets are either taxis (white) buses (blue) or underground (red). Detectives are given a set number of each ticket while Mr. X has nigh infinite number of tickets. Almost every space has a taxi stop on it, however these are all short stops, useful for moving among side streets and when you’re getting closer to catching Mr. X. Buses are the middle man, they aren’t as numerous as taxis but they travel a longer distance, and some of them have unique routes. Undergrounds have the fewest stops, but they travel the longest distance. Good for catching up with Mr. X if he is far away. OR they help Mr. X get out of Dodge if the detectives are on his tale. Each stop is numbered and some stops have multiple different modes of transportation connected to them.
Now catching Mr. X isn’t as easy as it sounds. While the detectives may out number Mr. X, he is quite good at blending in the London crowd. All of Mr. Xs moves are invisible from the detectives, he records them in a travel log and the detectives are able to see which tickets he uses. The only time he reveals himself to the detectives is during certain turns as designated on his travel log. The detectives will have to work together to coordinate their movements to box Mr. X in and hopefully catch him.
So it’s clear how the detectives win, catch Mr. X by moving onto the same space as him/ him moving onto the same space as a detective, but how does Mr. X win? Well, he can win two ways. Option one, if all the detectives can no longer move (for example if they are stuck on a taxi only stop but are out of taxi tickets) Option two is if Mr. X reaches the end of his travel log (he probably flies a helicopter out of the city)
Mr. X also has a couple tricks up his sleeve. He has the option to play a “black ticket” which can be used for any means of transportation (taxi, bus, or underground) This means the detectives may not know which stop he went to if they were close to catching him. Mr. X may also use these black tickets to ride the ferry down river, something the detectives can not do. Mr. X’s final trick is a X2 move, this allows him to move twice in one turn. That cheat!

I’m not really a stickler on the components of a game, but I think Scotland Yard’s is great. The design is pretty simple, the tickets are little cardboard pieces with the designated ticket name in big, colored letters. I also love the detective pieces, they each have a colored top and a transparent base so you can see the route number! I think this is a fantastic design choice that I wish more board games would use (earlier versions of Scotland Yard didn’t have the transparent base) At first glance the board may seem daunting with all of the stops, and poor eyes may get confused with all of the routes and numbers. However once you start playing the game and once the detectives get closer to catching Mr. X the game really focuses in on specific areas. The only problem with the pieces is, there’s a lot of tickets, and the box doesn’t hold them the best. I would definitely recommend investing in some little bags to keep them all seperated!

Impressions of Scotland Yard:
I love Scotland Yard. Like I said at the beginning, I was raised playing it so it is near and dear to my heart. But, why should YOU play it?
Scotland Yard is very easy to learn. The goals are clear, the rules are easy to follow, you don’t have a ton of different choices to make each turn. It is a pretty simple game, perhaps even a good gateway game for some looking for something new. There certainly aren’t many games like it!
I feel the game plays best with a full house (6 players) I have played a game with only four (3 detectives, and 1 Mr. X) and it was very challenging for the detectives. So it probably doesn’t scale the best, but because everyone is working together it is very easy for a group of 4 or 5 to have individuals play multiple detectives as long as they keep proper track of their tickets.
It is also a fair game. Mr. X has some good tools to stop him from feeling overwhelmed by the detectives. The others, well they have numbers on their side. It is a decent introduction to cooperative games, a lot of communication is required on the detectives side. It’s such an easy game to learn that there doesn’t need to be an “experienced” player giving orders on the detective side, everyone can have a say on the teams coordination, but most importantly their own detectives movements.
Mr. X is a different case. Being the “veteran” Scotland Yard player I often find myself in the role of Mr. X. At this point I don’t get stressed out by it, but earlier I would get a little stressed. It can be kind of scary everyone ganging up on you! Just keep your cool and act confident!
Now I don’t normally like a 1 vs. many game (i’m not a fan of one person getting singled out) but Scotland Yard takes the cake for me. I definitely feel like this is a great game that everyone should add to their collection. It’s something different!
It’s a pretty casual game that is loaded with conversation. There’s some downtime either for the players or Mr. X depending on who is taking their time on their turns, but it’s almost up there with some party games. There’s not a huge amount of strategy, but there’s not so little that people get bored. It’s also fun to do a little roleplaying as the game progresses. Start weaving a story. In one game we found the blue cop always far away from Mr. X whenever he was revealed so we gave him a very clueless personality. Over time each detective took on a different personality depending on their playstyle, like some Hollywood comedy. Also if you’re a fan of London the setting is right up your alley.

What else can I say about Scotland Yard. I could probably keep going but I’ll stop. I feel like this is a relatively unknown game, but it truly is a hidden gem. On the surface it seems pretty bland, but underneath there’s a lot more going on. I know it keeps me coming back time and time again!

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Intermediate Reviewer
Professional Grader
6 of 9 gamers found this helpful
“The Game Is A Foot.”

A great deduction game. Semi-cooperative game with the detectives working together to catch the elusive Mr. X. For those that like strategy this game has loads, and it depends on what character you play, Mr. X or the detectives.

As. Mr.X you will have to decide when to use your special moves. A black ticket to hide which form of transportation you have taken or your double move to get two steps ahead.

As the detectives: how will you use your quickly diminishing ticket supply? When Mr.X reveals himself how will you work together to make the most effective dragnet?

There is a lot of replay value, because each game you can start in a different location, which gives you many options again depending on who you are. The pieces are simple and I like the game board or map of London.

45 minutes might be a little on the short side, depending if are just learning the game and how much time the detectives take to make their moves. An hour is more like it. The game play is easy. Both the boys were able to play when they were under 10. This is not a game we play all the time but it is diffidently in our rotation.

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66 of 142 gamers found this helpful
“Old one from childhood and then bought it in adulthood”

I remember having this game when I was a kid and I didn’t really understand the game all that well but as I got older I never forgot about this game. When I got back into board games as an adult it would always come back to me whenever I thought about my childhood and board games. I found it at a second hand store a little while ago and bought it. Although my tastes in games has changed I still play it occasional at my board game night with friends.


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